Context of academic achievement: Lessons from Hong Kong

Sivaneswary PHILLIPSON

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18 Citations (Scopus)


Vygotsky speculated that parents play an important role in the intellectual development of their children, and that this role includes the transfer of expectations related to their children's academic achievement. Consequently, different parents can produce different contexts of academic achievement for their children. The participants were 215 Primary 5 and 6 students from four primary schools in Hong Kong, and their parents. Students were administered a test of working memory and their academic achievement was indicated by their school-assessed mathematics and language achievement scores. Parents reported their expectations of their children's academic achievement, the extent of their home and school involvement, and their educational and income levels. Correlational and sequential regression analyses showed that different schools yielded different contexts of academic achievement. The results support the hypothesis that parents, and especially parental expectations, play an important role in children's academic achievement, and that within Hong Kong different schools can be characterised by different contexts of achievement. Copyright © 2009 Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-468
JournalEducational Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2009


Phillipson, S. (2009). Context of academic achievement: Lessons from Hong Kong. Educational Psychology, 29(4), 447-468.


  • Context specific
  • Academic achievement
  • Parental expectations
  • Parental involvement
  • Students' working memory


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